Ángeles Hueso

My name is Angeles Hueso Gil and I am doing my PhD in Victor’s lab. I studied Biology degree and a Biotechnology master in Valencia, my hometown. I always wanted to be a scientist, even when I was a child. When I started in the University I felt especially interested about Molecular Biology research. Several years later I participated in the iGEM competition and I found the new area called Synthetic Biology. After finishing my degree and master I moved to Madrid to make my PhD in Victor’s lab.

My PhD project consists of the development of several tools and devices needed for the ARYSIS project, which has the aim of producing affibodies (the variable part of camel antibodies) inside bacteria as Pseudomonas putida or Escherichia coli. The affibody chains will be able to mutate and evolve in order to increase their ability to recognize and bind the antigen.

I have three main tasks in the ARYSIS project.

1-Developing two reversible light switches to control the conditional mutation of the affibodies. For this purpose I am using two systems that were developed for E.coli in Voigt and Tabor’s lab: Cph8-OmpR red system and CcaS-CcaR green system. I am working in the adaptation of the systems to P. putida and its implementation inside the whole circuit.

2-Developing a surface contact switch which triggers the mechanism of the circuit once bacteria find their antigen and attach to the surface. I am characterizing some natural contact systems of P. putida, as for example wsp complex, in order to know about possible tools suitable for our needs.

3-Expression of proteoRhodopsin and the production of its cofactor, the retinal, inside P. putida. This transmembrane protein is able to transform light energy into a proton gradient that will be used for ATP production inside the bacteria. The idea is to increase the energy supply inside our bacteria for the new functions of the ARYSIS circuit using the proteoRhodopsin activity.

Angeles

Colony morphology of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (wt) and the wsp deleted mutant. Colonies were grown in plates of Tryptone broth with Congo Red/Coomassie and incubated for 7 days at 30ºC. This dye preferentially binds to exopolymeric substances (EPS), so a higher presence of EPS colonies show a deeper redish color.